The following is the teaching outline I use to teach and activate others in prophetic ministry. Feel free to copy and use it to teach others that you know, or to forward it to them or post for others to help teach them. Additionally, if you are able to translate it into another language and send it to other lands, please do so. - Joni Ames
- Joni Ames
Preface: This teaching isn’t about focusing on prophecy just to prophesy – it is about focusing on hearing from the God of prophecy and focusing on worshipping and adoring Him with and through the gifts He gives to us! Jesus paid the price, not only for our “fire insurance” (i.e., salvation from hell), but also that we might walk in the fullness of His Love and power! – And He deserves to get what He paid for!
Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. (John 16:7)
(13) When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. (14) He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. (15) All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. (John 15:13-15)
It is my desire to impart a Word-based, clear, concise, practical teaching that will be easily understood and therefore easily applied in your life. So, know in advance, you will get a lot of scriptures within this.
DEFINING TRUE PROPHECY
God is the Creator who makes the REAL. The enemy has no power to create, and is a liar and the father of lies. He is a counterfeit and has counterfeit gifts that totally oppose what the Lord’s purposes are. The difference between the “true” prophetic and that of the enemy is the source and the motive. The true prophetic, which is from the heart of God and brings to us His “Song of Solomon kisses,” is to edify and encourage us, and brings freedom. And who the Son sets free is free indeed! The “false” prophetic – fortune telling, eight ball, tarot, horoscopes, e.s.p., clairvoyance, necromancy is from the devil, puts a divining “hook” in you so as to control and manipulate you. – There are many scriptures which tell us that these things are not of God!
"When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire [an ancient occult practice], or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination [detestable] to the LORD..." (Deuteronomy 18:9-12a)
Mediums practice Necromancy, which is supposedly communication with the dead, and Jesus strictly forbids it. He tells us in the Luke 16:26 that there is a gulf that cannot be crossed over, in either direction: “Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.' -. There are even TV programs where they supposedly communicate with your dead loved ones. Since Jesus tells us that this is impossible, what is being done? They are, instead, communicating with familiar DEMONIC spirits, who appear as angels of light, and attempt to control and manipulate us with their information.
Ecc. 9:5-6 says: (5) For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten. (6) Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; Nevermore will they have a share In anything done under the sun.
Heb. 9:27 says: And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
Lev. 19:31 says: 'Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.
'And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people. (Lev. 20:6)
1 Cor. 12:1 says, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, I do not want you to be ignorant.” - God would not have us to be ignorant. Ignorant means to “halt and ignore intelligence.”
Heb. 12:25 says, “Do not refuse Him who speaks”
HOW CAN WE BE MORE SURE THAT WHAT WE ARE HEARING IS FROM THE LORD?
As prophetic Christians, we don’t “do readings,” or the like. Rather, we seek the Lord for His heart and mind for an individual. There are all kinds of “spirits” out there – but we want to be sure we communicate with the HOLY Spirit. How can we be more sure that is what we are doing? – We need to be in right relationship with the Lord, and the Word of God needs to be our ultimate plumb-line.
Heb. 4:12 says, “The Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
If we are rooted and grounded in the Word, and something soulish tries to come up and disguise itself as “prophecy,” The Word within us will act as a two-edged sword, and will help us to rightly divide the truth from the soulish, and cut the soulish off!
The more of the Word we get into us, the more of Jesus and the Holy Spirit we get into us, and that means that it will also cause us to have more discernment. .- Because that is one of the functions of the Word and of the Holy Spirit! – Rightly dividing the truth!
“The word of God is not chained” (2 Tim. 2:9b)
John 1:1 & 14:
(1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God
(14) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and TRUTH!
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth:
John 14:17: “The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
John 15:26: “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”
John 16:13: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come”.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE FIVE FOLD MINISTRY?
The five fold ministry is the BEGINNING and not the end of the line in the ministry “food chain.” - Their job isn’t to be the “stars,” but to be the “trainers and equippers” of the saints and train THEM to do the work of the ministry. If they do their job and we don’t do ours, we will be miserable and make everyone around us miserable! Let’s read Ephesians 4:11-16:
(11) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers
(12) For the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ
(13) till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
(14) that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting
(15) but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ
(16) from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
If every part doing its’ share causes growth in the Body, then when we don’t do our part, we stunt the growth of the Body. – So let’s get busy and do our part! Faith without works is dead!
Eph 2:20-22 says:
(20) having been built on the foundation for the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone
(21) in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord
(22) in whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit
As we read in John 17, Jesus is in us and we are in Him; thus He may use us to speak through us (His vessels) if we let Him!
Questions & Answers re: “Personal Prophetic Ministry/Personal Prophecy.”
Where does prophecy come from?
Rev. 19:10 says, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Rev. 12:11 says, “Satan is defeated by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony.”
Very often, a prophetic word is our testimony spoken to us, in advance, so that we can “wage war” with it and advance towards our prophetic destiny! (1 Tim. 1:18 & 19)
The Lord uses angels (messengers) to deliver a word in season:
Rev. 22:16: “I, Jesus, have sent My Angel to testify to you in the churches.’
He speaks to us by His Spirit, to our spiritual hearts and minds:
2 Peter 2:21 says that prophecy came, not by the will of man, but through man by the unction of the Holy Spirit.
Song of Solomon 1:2 says, “Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth – for your love is better than wine.” – From His lips, through yours, to the foreheads of those He wants to encourage!
And His words convey His heart! Jer. 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “Plans for good and not evil; to give you a future and a hope.”
I’ve gotten a lot of ‘words’ and am still waiting for them to come to pass. What’s the deal? Were they true or not? Should I throw them away? I’m tired of even getting words!
Having finally received a lot of prophetic words at one point in my life, I got discouraged because I hadn’t yet experienced the manifestations of them yet. So I threw a holy(?) temper tantrum and went on ‘strike’ and said, “I don’t want another prophecy until the ones I have already received come to pass!”
Oh boy! That manipulation backfired. It didn’t make God jump up and say, “Oh my! Let’s make stuff happen for Joni now!” – No. – Instead, I experienced a major famine of the prophetic in my life. I know I could have done as I’ve seen some people do to get attention, gone to meetings and sit in center of the front row, in direct eye shot of the speaker, with a bright red dress on, a shiny rhinestone Jesus pin, and they would have still prophesied over everyone around me! I didn’t do that, but you know what I mean! Finally I got scared. Drama queen that we women know we can be, I thought, “Oh my. Prophecy is a foretelling of the future. No one is prophesying over me, so I must not have a future. I must be going to die!”
The Lord had mercy on me and dropped into my spirit, Micah 2:6 & 7, (6) “Do not prattle,” you say to those who prophesy, so they shall not prophesy to you – they shall not render insult for insult.” (7) “You who are named to the house of Jacob – Is the Spirit of the Lord restricted? Are these His doings? Do not My Words do good to him who walks uprightly?” – And He reminded me of my own words! – Which I quickly repented of!
There is often a timing issue involved in a prophetic word. Like the picture on the front of a puzzle box, we get shown the “big picture” – but there are a lot of tiny pieces that need to come together before we see it actually completed and formed in our lives.
A prophetic word can be an invitation from the Lord, and we may need to do something in order to obtain that promise. Heb. 6:12 says that we, through faith and patience, inherit the promises. Faith without works is dead. (James 2:20)
How should we present a prophetic word?
When we feel we get a word for someone, we need to ask the Lord whether to give the word, and if so, when. Sometimes the Lord gives us a word simply for the purpose of intercession, not to be spoken. Other times, timing can be of essence. Like the Sons of Issachar, we need to pray to know the timing and the seasons. Simply ask God, and He will let you know.
We also need to be mannerly in the way in which we give a word. Manifesting all over the place isn’t an indication of an anointed word. “'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the Lord of hosts.” (Zech. 4:6) We need to give a word in a “decent” manner, so that we don’t scare the person off! We do not have to be sensational, spooky, weird or obnoxious. We do not need to speak in “King James” when prophesying. We need to draw the recipient’s attention to the Lord, not ourselves. We need to operate in prophetic etiquette, not pathetic weirdness! By the way, the word weird means “full of witchcraft!”.
1 Cor. 14:32 says the spirit of the person prophesying is subject to them. Galatians 5:23 says that one of the fruits of the Spirit is self control!
How Should We Prophesy to Famous or Public Figures?
When the Lord gives us the opportunity to speak a word to someone in authority, or someone well known, we need to keep it private. It can be a real snare to us to get into wanting the attention of us being “known” for speaking to movie stars or political figures.
I’ve seen many people stand up before large crowds, to announce that they had just spoken to such a person and gave them a prophetic word, and I cringed. When the Lord allows that type of access to a person like that, we need to be faithful in keeping it confidential, and not get “puffed up” and announce it publicly. In the case of political figures, it can cause them real trouble.
Galatians 2:2 says, “I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain.”
The Lord will open opportunities to minister to celebrities, politicians, and others who are well known. This is not to be used as a means of giving us a more “famous” reputation. Rather, we are to cover and protect them, and make JESUS famous! - As we are faithful in so doing, we will be given more such opportunities.
If you are reading this and you are a person in the public eye, please be cautious as to who you allow to minister to you. You should choose those who minister to you privately as carefully as you’d choose your doctor or lawyer. If they are wanting to “show you off” publicly, it’s a pretty good clue that their motives are not to your benefit.
If we prophesy, does that mean we are a prophet?
No. There are three areas of revelatory authority:
(1) The OFFICE of the prophet. (Eph. 4:11) – A true prophet has “earned” that office through many years of service. They are confident enough that they don’t toot their own horn, and don’t need to be called “Prophet so and so.” The Holy Spirit will prove them, and others will acknowledge it.
(2) The GIFT of prophecy. (1 Cor. 12:10). It is just that. A gift. If we don’t have it, we can ask the Lord for it, and He will give it to us. Matt. 7:7-11 says: “(7 ) "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (8) For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (9) Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? (10) Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? (11) If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
(3) The SPIRIT of prophecy. When the SPIRIT of prophecy comes upon a group of people, whoever opens their mouth as a willing vessel may be used. Saul & his men prophesied (1 Sam. 10:10 & 11), and even a DONKEY prophesied (Numbers 22) – Proof that we don’t have to be called a prophet to prophesy! We may just be “God’s donkey!”
We don’t have to be “professional,” just available!
Being a prophet isn’t a status symbol. God refers to them as “my SERVANTS, the prophets.” It is a responsibility that requires love and compassion for God’s people. Jer. 27:18 says, “But if they are prophets and if the Word of the Lord is with them, let them now make intercession to the Lord of Hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the Lord, in the house of the King of Judah, and at Jerusalem, do not go to Babylon.”
Should we prophesy?
It is the Lord’s heart for us to USE the gifts He gives to us, and He is not a respector of persons. He will use any willing vessel! He desires that we earnestly desire to prophesy!
1 Cor. 14:39 says “Desire earnestly*” to prophesy
1 Cor. 12:31 says “Earnestly desire*” the best gifts (ref. 1 Cor. 14: 6 & 12 )
* means to “covet” or “lust after.”
1 Peter 4:10 & 11 says:
(10) As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
(11) If anyone speaks, let them speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, do it with the ability God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever, amen.
Rom. 12:6, “Having gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us USE them. If prophesy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith.”
Romans 12:3 says that God has given to each of us “a” measure or “the” measure of faith. I looked it up in the “Weights and measures” section of my Bible, and a “measure” is an actual measurement that equals SIX GALLONS! We have *6 gallons of mustard seed faith!
If one mustard seed can move a mountain, and we have SIX GALLONS of mustard seeds worth of faith, how many mountains can we move? How many HAVE we moved? How many CAN we move?! Plus that, if we need more, Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, and we can get MORE if we use up the first load! :-D
Why should we prophesy?
Prophesy is simply hearing God and conveying what He says. Why do we want to convey what He says?:
(1) We prophesy so that we may obey Him.
Deut. 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
We can all hear from God for ourself and should never, on a consistent basis, seek to hear from Him through someone else. That’s divination. However, sometimes when we are under attack, the enemy can get us so confused and confounded that we cannot seem to “hear” for ourselves. At times like these, we are honestly seeking confirmation so that we don’t end up “doing the wrong thing” and getting into a situation that would detour us from God’s ultimate purpose for our life. God knows our heart, and if we are in that type of a situation and seeking for answers, He will send someone our way to deliver a word of direction to us that will keep us on course, and in His will. Much the same, sometimes we will be the one that He sends to someone else to deliver a word to them that will help them to stay on course and be obedient to the Lord.
(2) We prophesy so that we can edify the church.
1 Cor. 14: 3, 4, 12 & 26:
(3) “He who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.”
(4) “He who prophesies edifies the church.”
(12) “Since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.”
(26) “Let all things be done for edification.”
Edification = means to build up and encourage.
Encourage = means to infuse with courage! – How cool is that?!!!!
It is SO awesome to be able to be used to encourage someone else! As Amos 3:8 says, “A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?!”
(3) We prophesy to bring others to Christ – “Prophetic Evangelism.”
(Like Jesus did with the woman at the well and the woman caught in adultery.)
1 Cor. 14:24 & 25 says:
(24) If all prophesy and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is judged by all
(25) And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.
We are all “worship leaders” who are to be leading others to worship HIM!
One time at church, my pastor had all the guests come forward and told those of us who attend to look at the people and ask the Lord who He wanted us to go to and what He wanted to say, and then to go do it. A particular lady stood out to me and I heard, “God loves you.”
I thought, “That is such a small word! I think I’ll look for someone else! I want names, dates, and places!”
Immediately my pastor said from the pulpit, “Someone just told the Lord they just have a small word and they are trying to get something ‘bigger.’ You need to go and give that ‘small’ word!”
I apologetically went to the lady and said, “I’m one of the ones who just got a ‘small’ word. So, well, feel free to get someone else to pray for you too after me. But, uh, well, I just heard to tell you. – GOD LOVES YOU!”
Immediately the lady fell to the ground, crying hysterically! I thought, “Uh…what part of ‘God loves you’ don’t you understand?”
When she finally quit crying and got up, she explained that she’d lost her husband four years before that, and he’d been the love of her life. They had a 16 year old daughter and a 19 year old son, and because she was so grieved, she wasn’t a very good mom from that point forward. She felt that no one else loved her. Then she heard about our ‘prophetic’ church, and decided to come. When she crossed the Catawba River on her way to church she told the God, “Lord, I’m going to a prophetic church. If someone there doesn’t tell me that YOU love me, I’m going to drive off the bridge and end it all on my way back.”
God saved her life that day! And I almost blew it, wanting a “bigger and better” word. We just need to be faithful with the “little.” Praise God that He was faithful to give me the second chance to speak it out!
PROPHECY CHANGES US
1 Sam. 10:6 says that prophesy will change us.
When Jesus spared Saul to become Paul, he said it was for this purpose – and it is the same today. Acts 26:18 says it was “to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Him.”
How awesome that the Lord would allow us to take part in such an incredible adventure!
WHO MAY PROPHESY?
1 Cor. 12:7 says “The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.”
1 Cor. 14:31 says “You can ALL prophesy one by one, that ALL may learn and ALL may be encouraged.”
Do you think He really means ALL?!
Joel 2:28 & 29 and Acts 2:17 & 18 BOTH say:
(28) “And it shall come to pass that I will pour out My Spirit upon ALL flesh; your SONS and your DAUGHTERS shall prophesy, your OLD MEN shall dream dreams, your YOUNG MEN shall see visions.”
(29) “And on my MENservants and on my MAIDservants, I will pour out My Spirit in those days and they SHALL prophesy.”
God is no respector of persons! This is a time when He is pouring His Spirit out upon ALL flesh, ALL ages, and you are no exception! If we don’t praise Him, the rocks will cry out! (Luke 19:40) If we don’t prophesy, He will speak through animals! (Numbers 22)
WHAT DO WE “DO” WITH PROPHECIES?
First of all, if we receive a “nice” prophecy, it doesn’t mean that we are sinless (like the woman caught in adultery). The gifts and calling of God are without repentance. But it is encouragement to walk OUT of sin, and INTO our purpose IN GOD!
The ONLY “oath level prophecies” – prophecies that will come to pass no matter who thinks what – are Bible prophecies. - Like the coming of a Messiah, the redemption of Israel, and the return of Jesus Christ. We need do nothing about them. They will happen “no matter what.”
Personal prophecies are often “invitations.”
1 Timothy 4:13-16 changed my life when, through it, I realized that prophecies can be an invitation from the Lord to do what you are called to do – and faith without works is dead.
Example: Esther was told in Esther 4:14, “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance WILL arise…from another place…Yet who knows whether YOU have come to the kingdom for such a time at THIS?!” – If she wanted to, she could refuse the assignment and God would use someone else. None of us need to think we are God’s “only option!” Jesus is the ONLY Messiah!
So, we have to DO SOMETHING with the word given, in order to walk in the fulfillment of it.
1 Timothy 4:13-16 (New King James Version)
(13) Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine
(14) Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.
(15) Meditate on these things, give yourself entirely to them, so that your progress may be evident to all.
(16) Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”
Why don’t some prophecies “come true?”
Well, obviously some are not accurate. Who of us has been 100% right? We need to give grace where it is needed. We also need to be rooted and grounded in the Word and Spirit, and have relationship with the Lord. If we have intimacy with the Lord, we’ll be able to better discern what is or is not from Him.
Since we know in part, we prophesy in part. Sometimes part of a word can truly be the Lord, and then the person prophesying interprets wrongly, or gets off into the flesh, and ministers by sight instead of spirit, or otherwise in the soulish realm. We need to “chew up the meat and spit out the bones.”
I’ve come across some people who were “turned against” personal prophecy because they had been told they would have a “great ministry” of some type, but it never “happened.” However, when it came to the “bottom line” of it all, the Lord had issued the prophetic invitations for them to step out in and provided many opportunities for them to grow into that call, and like me for so many years, they did not respond.
If you take a look at Esther, much led up to her finally walking in what she was called to do. God positioned her for the task, but obedience was required on her part in order to fulfill it. Faith without works is dead. Often times, we have to DO SOMETHING about the words given to us! Not only did she have to go through two years of preparations, but she had to wait until she was married, and then, until she was called forward and given permission to speak.
A “personal prophecy” is like the “big picture” on the top of a puzzle box. The Lord shows that to us so that we see the “mark” we are to press towards! But, when you open the box, there are 500 or 1,000 little tiny puzzle pieces inside! It takes all of those little things coming together to manifest that picture to come forth into total form. – Much like our lives! – We must be faithful in the little opportunities He gives to us before we reach the “much!”
For instance, let’s say you are told you have a great teaching gift that can eventually bless the Body of Christ in a major way. In fact, the person tells you that they see you standing before many.
Within a few days, someone invites you to help with a Sunday School class or a Bible Study or Prayer Group. But you say, “No, I’m too shy” - Or “I’m not ready.” A month or so later, someone asks you to teach at their Bible study, and you say, “I don’t know what I would speak on – maybe next time.” You have a “thought” or “unction” to start a home group or Bible study, but you say, “that’s not God,” and you don’t do it. This goes on and on for many years, and you never step out.
Do you get the picture? If this type of thing continues week after week, month after month, year after year, and we turn down those invitations, or rarely accept them, we cannot blame the person who gave us that original word – or God! – If we never experience the fullness of that word! We must be faithful in the “little” if we ever expect to experience the “much.”
And what if we realize we have been like that and refused to step out? “Be zealous and repent!” – Then “get over it” and go forward and begin to walk toward the fullness of God’s promises from this point on! – And, by the way, do NOT look back!!! – There is NO condemnation in Jesus!
Some prophecies are for spiritual warfare
1 Timothy 1:18 & 19 (NKJ) says:
(18) This charge I commit to you….according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them, you may wage the good warfare
(19) having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck.
For those of us who have had children who have gone astray, we can wage tremendous warfare on their behalf by continuing to speak forth God’s plans for them! – Lovingly look for and encourage them about the “God stuff” in them, and of your faith in God and them that they WILL become all God has said! – All the while, waging war against the enemy with “God said,” using the prophetic words, and “It is written,” using the Word of God. It’s the “double barrel shotgun” of the Word and the Spirit that God has given to us!
In prayer, He will also give us “prophetic prayers” – this is called “prophetic intercession.” These things, combined with praying in the Spirit, are extremely powerful.
Again, the only “oath level” prophecies are those in the written Word of God. But “personal prophecies” – such as was given to Esther in Esther 4:14, are invitations. And if we refuse the Lord’s prophetic invitations, we cannot blame the one giving it to us – or the Lord – if they do not come to pass. As it says in Esther, the Lord CAN use someone else! She was told then, and the Lord says to you now, “If you remain silent, relief and deliverance WILL arise FROM ANOTHER…” but He also says to you this…”Yet who knows whether YOU have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
The Lord CAN use someone else…yet who would want to be left out of His plans? Certainly not you or I, to be sure! So, let’s “acknowledge Him in all our ways” and learn to heed His voice. First come His invitations, then He sends His opportunities for us to step out and walk into what He has invited us to do.
How will God speak to us?
Heb. 2:4 says, “God bears witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His Own Will.”
So, how will He speak? Any way He chooses! “According to His own will!” – He is, after all, GOD! Let us not “put Him in a box!” – That is like putting Him and us in a coffin! – He can speak through nature, through the Word, songs, movies, showing “picture” visions, “video” type of visions/visitations/dreams, “fleeting thoughts,” impressions, billboard signs, something someone says – the list is endless! In the Bible, Heaven used a donkey! So he will surely use you, me and anything or anyone else that He chooses to use! And if we don’t put Him in a box, we won’t be putting ourselves in a box – and life will be a very exciting adventure for us, indeed!
It is the SAME Holy Spirit in us all! Not an older, smarter, or “better” one – so let Him use YOU, no matter what your age, status in life, or condition! If He used a donkey, He can use you or me!
How do I know if what I’m hearing is from God, the devil, or my own thoughts?
First of all, we aren’t “smart enough” for it to be us!
Next, the Word says that “His Sheep know His voice, and a stranger’s they will not follow.” This kind of “know” means to know INTIMATELY! As we develop more intimacy with the Lord, we’ll be better able to discern His voice.
Most of us know our family members so well that we know the sound of their cough, sneeze, or even footsteps! That is How intimate – and more – that the Lord wants us to know HIM! – Like Abraham, He wants us to be a friend of God!
Many of you have heard the story of how the Canadian Mounties are taught to discern counterfeit money – they don’t study the fake. They so study the real that they immediately know when the false is put into their hands!
One of the things we realize and are able to accept once we intimately know the Lord is that He IS love and that condemnation is not of Him! Conviction, yes, but not condemnation. And the difference between the two is that, when convicted, and we repent, we no longer feel the guilt or shame or condemnation. But when the enemy condemns, he never stops!
Finally, the enemy is a liar and the father of lies, and is the accuser of the brethren. Flattery is also a form of lies. If the prophetic word goes against the Word of God, it isn’t from Him.
The enemy will try to shut you down with condemnation and fear. He will tell you things like, “Who do you think you are that God would speak through you?” “You are going to sound stupid!” “You don’t get stuff like that!” – And a host of other excuses as to why you shouldn’t be used of the Lord! (I’m sure we each can make a long list of them!”
Tell condemnation to GO, in Jesus’ name! Then speak the Word of God over yourself! “I’m the head and not the tail!” “I’m the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!” – And then…PROPHESY!!
Why would God use US?
As for our being “worth it” – we aren’t. But the good part is, we don’t have to be. HE IS! It isn’t about us, but HIM!
If you recall, in the Old Testament, when a sacrifice was brought to atone for one’s sins, the worth of the sacrifice was what was examined – not the person. And it is the same today. When God looks to see if we are “worthy,” He looks at the SACRIFICE – JESUS! – not us! – JESUS! – And He IS worthy!
So we can “agree quickly with the adversary” that we are not “worth it” – worth being used by the Lord – but this isn’t about us! It’s about HIM! – The Lord! – And He IS worth it! – He bought and paid for us, and for our right to be used by Him, and it is IN HIM that our righteousness dwells!
What if we do mess up? What if we make a fool of ourselves? Well, guaranteed, we’ll make a fool of ourselves without even trying to do anything for the Lord, so we might as well be a fool for Jesus instead!
We may make foolish mistakes along the way, but He is worth even our looking foolish at times as we step out and try. We just need to be humble, admit our mistakes and try again. We don’t have to be professional; just available! We’ve all been fools for lesser things in our lifetime! Let us be willing to be “fools for Jesus!”
I’ve heard there are three realms we can hear from and use to prophesy from. What are they?
1. The Flesh: Don’t allow yourself to be pulled into speaking to what you see in the physical or soul-ish realm. People are sometimes so “loud” with their ‘wishes’ in the soulish realm that we can pick up and prophesy that if we aren’t cautious to “come up higher” to God’s plans.
2. Satan’s Plans/2nd heaven revelation: the enemy is the prince and principality of the air. That person could be under attack. What you see the enemy doing does NOT have to come to pass. We don’t want to feed, water or fertilize that!
3. God’s plans/God’s heart/3rd heaven revelation: Always ask God for HIS heart and plans to be revealed, then, like Rick Joyner says, “Speak to the seed of God within a persona nd their life and cause IT to be fertilized, watered, and grow!” (1 Peter 1:23 tells us of that incorruptible/righteous seed of God that is planted within us all.)
What about false prophets? (I don’t want to be one!)
Making a mistake in giving a word does not make you or anyone else a false prophet. There are false prophets, but what does that mean?
2 Peter 2:3 says that false prophets “exploit you with deceptive words.” In other words, they will attempt to stroke you and manipulate you with their words. They may give you words that speak to the soulish realm, rather than from the heart of God, because they want a big offering!
Keep your eyes and heart focused on Jesus, and study Him. He will never lead you astray.
What about words of correction?
The Word is clear that we may get a word that will keep someone from Hell, and that if we do not give it, we are guilty of the same thing, and/or for the soul of that person. However, most of what I’ve seen and heard that people think is a word of correction “from the Lord” is usually personal opinion.
Whether a word of correction or edification, we are not anyone’s Holy Spirit! HE is! It is up to the person to accept or reject the word. We are just to “drop the mail in the box” and leave it there.
I personally believe that Matthew 18:15-17 exists within the realms of personal prophecy. In that, I believe that if we feel that we have a “do or die/must say” word of correction for a person from the Lord that we are supposed to deliver, we should go to them personally and not seek to publicly embarrass them.
I have experienced seeing strangers walk into a church that they have “heard things” about, deliver a horribly cutting word based on opinion, and walk out. Relationship with the Lord is SO important, because we can ask Him questions like, “Is this just to pray about?” – “Am I to give this to them?” – “Is this an attack launched against them or are they involved in this?” – “If I’m to give this, WHEN and HOW am I to do so in a way that will bring LIFE?”
I have come across many injured pastors as well as many injured intercessors and sheep because of supposed words of correction “from the Lord” that have been given publicly and/or enforced by the person giving them. That is blatant control and charismatic witchcraft. God gives us all freedom of choice. We are not anyone’s Holy Spirit – HE is! It is up to the person to accept or reject the words given. Our job is simply to be the “mailman.” – Just drop the mail in the box and leave it there.
Suggestions re: corrective words being given by “newcomers”:
(1) General rule: Take any “must say” corrective words to those in authority. Remember that a “general guideline” for corrective words is simply this, “If the person isn’t in your area of responsibility, they are not in your area of authority.” – Also, we may be wrong and wound someone. We don’t want to be used as a tool of the Accuser of the Brethren.” We must be willing to admit that if ALL we see is what’s wrong or bad in others, WE have the problem!
(2) Watchmen: There are discerning watchmen in the House of the Lord that the Lord will certainly use to give us appropriate warnings of potential danger. Don’t fall under the lie that anything that you may see that is not edifying is wrong or not true! But also don’t fall under the lie that “the true prophetic is only called to bring correction or judgment.” – Watchmen are also there to herald the coming moves of God! Not just judgment.
(3) Also, “it’s not what we say but how we say it.” It is the Lord’s kindness that brings us to repentance! If you feel that you “must” give it, ask the Lord “how” and “when.” And do it IN LOVE.
What about interpretation?
ASK GOD! That may sound elementary, but we often have not because we ask not! If we ask for bread, He isn’t going to give us a stone. We just need to ASK Him and we will receive! There are also many helpful books out to help you – ask at your CHRISTIAN bookstore for them. I have a list on my site at www.joniames.info, and here is a list of some excellent prophetic resources:
1. Jim & Michal Ann Goll, www.ministrytothenations.com
2. Kevin Conner’s books
3. Bishop Bill Hamon & Christian International, www.christianinternational.org
4. Rick Joyner & MorningStar, www.morningstarministries.org
5. Mike Bickle & IHOP, www.fotb.com
Some other tools:
1. JOURNAL. Jer. 30:2 says, “Write in a book all those things that were told to you by the Lord.”
2. Webster’s dictionary
3. Bible program for your computer (free at www.e-sword.com or use the one at www.crosswalk.com)
4. Hand held tape recorder – keep it by your side to record those “fleeting thoughts.’
How should I give a personal prophetic word?
In a church or other ministry related situation:
1. Ask if they have ever received prophetic ministry like this before
2. Explain that you are not there to dig up old sins that are under the blood, but to ask God to show His heart and plans for them.
3. Explain that they are responsible for th interpretation and to “chew up the meat and spit out the bones.” – All words are to be judged by them and that they are free to toss them out if they want to.
4. Encourage them to tape or write the word down, take it to their leadership for input.
5. Then pray for God to reveal His heart for the person.
6. Speak what the Lord shows you, in a loving manner.
7. Give them a matching scripture. (His Word does not return void.)
In a public situation – restaurant, etc.:
1. If time allows, write the word down and give it to them.
2. Approach the stranger with manners saying something like, “Excuse me, I’m a Christian and I feel that the Lord sometimes speaks to me about people and gives me a prophetic word for them, and I felt like He gave me one for you, and this is it….”
3. Give the word in a clear, concise manner. (Don’t be spooky, weird, or obnoxious.)
4. Say “thank you for listening; God bless you.”. Do NOT go into a counseling session. Just leave.
What if I know something in the natural about the word?
1 Cor. 8:1-3 says that knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.
If you have foreknowledge about the word you are giving – if you know something in the natural – be honest and say so. Say something like, “I know this part in the natural (state it), but I believe that the Lord gave me this word/scripture for you regarding it (state it).”
Beware of the three “G’s”
1. Gold. Don’t prophesy for money. God’s gift cannot be bought or sold. Even if you are a prophet, it is spelled P-R-O-P-H-E-T, not P-R-O-F-I-T! We are not fortune tellers – we are giving freely the Word of God that He gives freely to us! Yes, “the workman is worthy of their hire,” but we don’t set up shop and advertise “come and get your prophecy for $25 per person,” nor put on our website, “send $25 for your prophecy or dream interpretation tape.”
2. Girls/Guys. When Jesus is lifted up, it draws people to you! Be realistic and honest with yourself. It is JESUS they admire and want – it is the anointing of the Holy Spirit that attracts them. Not us!
3. Glory. It belongs to Jesus, not us. Give Him ALL the glory!
How should we handle ourselves in presenting a prophetic word?
1. Speak clearly. Don’t mumble or speak in parables that others won’t understand.
2. Be concise. A good surgeon makes the smallest incision.
3. Ask the Lord for a matching scripture (the “more excellent word.”)
4. Don’t repeat yourself. That includes not saying the same thing in dierent ways.
5. Don’t turn it into a counseling session and thus overload the person.
6. Don’t use religious bombast. You don't have to "speak-eth" in "King James-eth"; speak normally.
7. Speak LIFE! Life and death are in the power of the tongue.
8. Use manners/common sense. Don’t be evasive, make faces, laugh, don’t be loud, or act shocked, spooky, or weird.
9. Just be the mailman. Don’t force acceptance of the word. We aren’t anyone’s Holy Spirit! He is!
10. Be yourself. Don’t try to give words like anyone else. David couldn’t walk in Saul’s armor, and we can’t walk in anyone else’s personality, style, or anointing.
11. It’s not what you say, but how you say it. If you see rejection on someone, don’t say, “I see rejection all over you!” Speak the word of God, “You are accepted in the beloved.” The territory the Lord shows you is for the taking! Declare the victory of the Lord!
Practical items for your protection when ministering
1. When possible, have a ministry partner/witness.
2. No opposite sex touching in private areas of the body
3. No counseling – Drop the mail in the box and go!
4. Encourage the use of a tape recorder or scribe during prophetic ministry time – it will save questions and having to try to remember and repeat things later.
Suggestions for practicing the prophetic gift
1. HOLIDAY PRACTICE: Pray for a word for your friends and relatives and write it in a card.
2. PROPHETIC PARCHMENTS: Get a word for someone, and gift it to them in parchment form.
3. TARGET SHOOTING: My friends and I have often invited each other and guests over and put a chair in the middle of the room (“hot seat”) and ministered to one another.
4. MUSICAL CHAIRS: Place three chairs and four people in a circle, start the music, and when it stops, the person standing up has to prophesy over those sitting down. Or the opposite – the ones seated have to prophesy over them!
5. BLINDFOLD: You can blindfold someone and place a person or photograph in front of them to prophesy over.
6. ASK FRIENDS FOR A LIST OF NAMES: Ask friends for names for people they know of and would like to hve you seek a word for them.
7. PRAY FOR WORDS FOR AREA CHUCHES: Get out your phone book and pray over the churches in your area nd send them words of encouragement.
8. PROPHETIC EVANGELISM: Go to a shopping mall or county fair or other public event and seek words for the people you see and write them down and give it to them.
9. PROPHESY OVER YOUR AREA: Joel prophesied the the land, animals and people! Stand at the top of a hill near your home and pray and prophesy over your city – it’s land animals and people! Elijah prophesied over a CEMETARY! A graveyard full of dead, dry bones! Just ask God, and He will direct you in the way to prophesy over the gates of your city.
Remember, GOD LOVES YOU! And He has GOOD plans for YOU! And He DOES want you to USE the gifts He gave to you! He paid the price of His Son’s life for you to be able to do that! And He deserves to get what He paid for!!!
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Charlotte, NC 28241
Main Website: http://www.joniames.org
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